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Harry W. Bohnett Obituary

Harry W. Bohnett, who lived life to the fullest with an ever-present smile on his face, died Feb. 22, 2010, at the age of 86. He leaves behind Eloise, his beloved wife of 62 years; three children, Bill, Wendy and David; a sister, Joanne Johnston; and four grandchildren Harry was born Oct. 30, 1923, in Chicago and spent his childhood in that city, attending Morgan Park Military Academy. World War II then shaped the next years of this quintessential member of the Greatest Generation. Harry became a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S. Army, serving in the Panama Canal and France. After the war he enrolled at Northwestern University, graduating in 1948.

Harry had a successful career in the wholesale fuel oil business, starting at Bohnett Tire and Rubber, a company started by his father, followed by a long tenure at Clark Oil and Refining. Harry and Eloise raised their family and settled in Hinsdale, a western suburb of Chicago, where they were both active in the community and civic life. After many happy years in Hinsdale, business took Harry and Eloise in the early 1970s to Milwaukee and then St. Louis.

Retiring to Sarasota, Harry's final 15 years were a veritable “bucket list” of success, fulfillment and fun. He served as president of the condo association at Turtle Bay and enjoyed boating, golf and tennis well into his 70s. Bridge was a lifelong passion and his last years at Bay Village found him organizing many a bridge night and making yet another set of friends.

Travels and many cruises with family and a final two years of memorable road trips to Texas, Chicago, the East Coast and across California and Nevada rounded out the happy life of a truly great guy. His friends and family can attest that he was someone who never let life's travails get the best of him or dim his zest for living.

A celebration of Harry's life will be at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, at Bay Village, 8400 Vamo Road, Sarasota.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Harry's name to People for the American Way Foundation, 2000 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20036